Functional harmony

Functional Harmony

In this article we will take a look at functional harmony. If you want to learn more about music analysis, we would recommend reading this article.

functional harmony, music theory, free music theory lesson

The Music Is Based On The Major And Minor Scales

In functional harmony there is a clear hierarchy between the chords. One chord acts as the tonic, and all other chords somehow point towards it.

You can find the cadence of a piece of music by using roman numeral analysis, which you can read about in this article.

In functional harmony, music is based on descending fifths and leading notes and common notes. However, there is less of a focus on common notes than in modal harmony.

Genres Which Used Functional Harmony

A lot of music is based on functional harmony, in the same way that much music is based on either the major or minor scale. Functional harmony was commonly used from the Baroque period and through the Classical and Romantic eras, but quite a lot of jazz music also uses functional harmony, as does some pop songs. However, quite a few jazz and pop songs use both functional and modal harmony.

If you want to learn more about modal harmony, we would suggest that you read this article.

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